escape from blood

Jade 2022-07-19 13:49:25

(Text / Yang Shiyang)

How many people have spent their entire lives trying to escape the shackles of their original identity - their family of origin, their homeland, or their original particular culture. People go to the distance and firmly refuse to look back. This kind of escape sometimes achieves oneself, but also hurts oneself. The sense of tearing in it can only be digested silently. Just like Ella-Maya in this "Blood of Sami", suddenly another culture, another civilization, another way of life or another possibility and future is discovered. She rushed like a moth to the flame, even if she did not hesitate to burn her past together.

In fact, "Blood of Sammy" tells a very unpopular story, but it reflects a general anxiety. The Nordic region is inhabited by a group of aborigines known as the Sami, who have unique cultural customs and living habits. For a long time in the last century, Sweden has been trying to assimilate this nomadic people who cannot use their own language in school and must speak Swedish, but at the same time they are told that after a short education they will still have to go back Go to the tent in the high mountains and continue to be with the reindeer, because the anthropologists at that time, under the bewitchment of the ethnographic theory, stubbornly believed that this nation was inferior, and their brain capacity was not enough to support the ability to survive in a civilized world . And the protagonist of the story, the girl Ella-Maya stubbornly wants to leave the plateau.

"Blood of Sami" has a lot of cool and cold natural scenery and sparse dialogues. It is not as dull as an anthropological documentary as one might expect, nor is it a top-down perspective. It narrates gently, from the moment It begins with a funeral in the most modern of life scenes, and then quickly turns back decades ago, when a girl experiences culture shock for the first time.

It is a film made of eyes, gestures, details, etc., together with abundant details, those micro-expressions of fear and hope that alternately appear, those gestures that try to imitate but are ultimately unlawful, witnessing a girl discovering a new kind of The subtle mental journey of civilization and wanting to devote myself to it.

The great thing about "Blood of Sammy" is that it not only presents phenomena, but always looks at a kind of confusion and dilemma - the sisters went to school together for education, and the sister suddenly fell in love with a new life, studied Swedish hard, wanted to Remain in the city, while the younger sister has always been proud of Sami's lineage and refuses to make any changes. These two people represent two typical attitudes towards the new civilization, and the concepts behind these attitudes are related to people's moral judgments. This leads to many questions. For example, if a nomadic person encounters a more modern and abundant civilization, if they try to integrate, is it a cultural betrayal? Or, is this considered "progress"? Do people born into such a unique civilization have the right to re-choose their future way of life? And does this choice in itself necessarily imply some kind of ideology? When you see Ella-Maya advancing and retreating, at a loss but still moving forward firmly, this story is no longer just about "rights" in the narrow sense, but about a larger "destiny".

A girl's choice for a new life almost comes from an instinctual awakening. She wears clothes that symbolize national characteristics all day, but sees other people wearing fashionable clothes, she sees that her teacher can freely choose her career and life, and she is destined to return to the pastoral area to domesticate reindeer, she knows the smell on her body, She is also envious of the dazzling dance parties in the city, so she secretly wears other people's floral dresses and secretly imitates holding a coffee cup with her fingers raised. At that moment, a dilemma arose. The girl is trapped between two cultures, her behavior of rushing to a new life is despised by the girls of the same race, but she is destined to be unable to be accepted by the Swedes without any obstacles. kind. Humans are creatures that need group identification. When both groups reject her integration, loneliness becomes acute. Sometimes she is like a heroic warrior, and sometimes she is just a helpless girl.

Her sexual and cultural awakenings go hand in hand, but later on, it's hard to tell whether that initiative is a need or a strategy. Her physical relationship with the Swedish boy became the most extreme part of his escape from his original identity, the exchange of bodily fluids, the fusion of genes, and nothing could be more resolute to betray his own culture, not to mention that the most important feature of that culture is a A kind of "purity" characterized by closure.

The reindeer has become the most classic and direct symbol in Blood of Sami. The Sami are going to cut the ear tags of the deer with a knife to show that a reindeer belongs to a certain owner, and Ella-Maya arrives in the city, and during the fight, a boy takes the knife from her hand and cuts her. ear tags. The Sami domesticated the deer and the Swedes domesticated the Sami. And those so-called anthropologists stripped the Sami children of their clothes and measured their body indicators, like a man treating a deer. Faced with such stigma, some choose to flee back into their own culture and isolate with more certainty, while others choose to integrate without hesitation.

At school, Ella-Maya deliberately changed her name to Christina, but in the hearts of others, she has always been Maya. Years later, she had already become a teacher and settled in the city, and her son called her Christina. In this sense, her fight was a success. But she went to her sister's funeral - after not returning to her hometown for decades, she once again returned to her childhood state, from one civilization to another, only this time with an inverted identity. She echoed the tourists' complaints about the Sami, and faced the hostile glances of her kin. Did she flee for a while or for a lifetime? Or can we really escape from the past and the original?

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Extended Reading

Sami Blood quotes

  • Elle Marja: [to Njenna] Don't yoik at school...

  • Elle Marja: To become a teacher... What do you have to know?

    Lärarinnan: Well... You have to know everything.